Growing homelessness crisis: Two key factors need addressing

Almost one-third of all calls to the housing charity Threshold last year were from tenants faced with losing their home.

Threshold’s warning is stark: Unless we address the underlying reasons for homelessness, we will never be able to address it in any meaningful way.

It has found that a growing number of calls for help have come from renters who had been told by their landlords that their tenancies were coming to an end — up 18% compared to 2016.

Threshold is proposing the introduction of rent registers to allow tenants in rent pressure zones to compare the prices at which rental properties in their area have been let in the past.

It also wants to see an NCT-style system in place, to ensure that rental properties are fit to rent.

Those are noble aspirations but they will not solve the overall problem. Most people facing eviction are doing so because of the impending sale of the property in which they live. Sale of a property is not considered a valid reason for eviction in many other EU states, such as Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands, so why should it continue to be so here?

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy must address two key matters if the homelessness crisis is to be addressed — unaffordable rent increases and the fallout from the sale of rented properties, both of which are contributing to the growing crisis of homelessness.


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